By EDDIE OSIFELO
TRANSPARENCY Solomon Islands has rejected the reasons given by the Government as basis for its decision to defer the National General Elections to 2024.
Secretary to Prime Minister, Dr Jimmy Rodgers and other officials in the Prime Minister Office confirmed the Government cannot hold the elections next year because of the Pacific Games happening in the same year.
Dr Rodgers said the Government has approached the Pacific Games Council to defer the Pacific Games to 2024 after it was originally scheduled for July 2023.
However, he said the Pacific Games Council refused it because no Games should be held during the Olympic year in 2024.
The original date for the Pacific Games in Honiara was on 16 to 29 July 2023 but rescheduled to 19 November to 2 December 2023.
The Summer Olympic Games is scheduled to take place in Paris, France, from 26 July to 11 August 2024.
However, TSI Chief Executive Officer, Ruth Liloqula told a talk back show on Sunday that all the reasons given by Parliament for extension and deferment are well within the powers of Executive government to make it happen.
“All the taxpayers are paid and who have the control over that. It’s the Executive Government?
“So, it’s all about the planning and proper thinking Government to plan for the event,” she said.
Liloqula said the executive can because this year Parliament passed a budget of $6.8 million per constituency.
“So, does that mean it does not have money?
“If we can give money to a scheme that corrupt everything, surely, we can provide money for Pacific Games and run General Elections.
“For Pacific Games, it looks like we will meet cost. The participating teams will send money for food and accommodation,” she added.
Liloqula said the cost benefit analysis has not been provide by Government.
“It’s not all about the Olympic Games. What is Olympic Games compare to the Constitution of Solomon Islands?
“So, it’s within their area to actually solve it. So, they better solve and run the elections in 2023,” she added.
TSI has also launched a report regarding the proposed Extension of Parliament from Four to Five years.
The report is based on citizens speaking, perception, observations, experiences, opinions and recommendation.